Lifestyle: Wasabi brings affordable luxury to Japanese food

JAPANESE restaurant group Wasabi Sushi & Bento opened the doors of its two new Leeds branches this week following an investment of more than £1m to expand outside of London for the first time.
Both the new branches are in Trinity Leeds to and the expansion into Yorkshire from its base in the capital comes ahead of a planned opening in New York.
Wasabi has created more than 50 new jobs in the city and aims to provide Leeds’ shoppers with distinctive Japanese cuisine at affordable prices, making it a regular healthy treat, rather than an occasional luxury.

“We’re delighted to be opening in Leeds,” said Dong Hyun Kim, founder of Wasabi. “We choose our locations very carefully and Leeds, as a leading retail centre with a vibrant business community and huge student population, is a major draw.
“With our bright, clean, modern Japanese style, Wasabi offers a lunchtime alternative of sushi, salads, sashimi and authentic hot bento dishes, which we are confident will be popular with hungry shoppers and workers in search of something new, different and healthy.”

At a preview event this week, Wasabi’s knowledgeable staff showcased its range of freshly prepared hot and cold food.

Chefs served up Japanese bento dishes such as Chicken Katsu Curry, Roasted Veg Yakisoba and Prawn Tempura Tanmen all priced at under £5.50 for a healthy hot meal to takeaway or eat in as the branch can seat 60 people.

Made from scratch every morning, Wasabi’s sushi includes Scottish salmon and line-caught Yellowfin tuna and the range includes fridges full of traditional sushi ‘pick & mix’ style, all individually wrapped including Spicy Salmon Gunkan, Tofu Roll and Chicken Teriyaki Handroll as well as lunch box sets and salads such as Sweet & Spicy Chicken Bento for £5.99 and a Spicy Yakatori Set.
You can wash this down with a sesame milkshake or even a Bubble Tea – an interesting combination of green tea, milk and tapioca balls which surprise the uninitiated when you slurp them up through the thick straw.